Friday, January 23, 2009


My last few posts have been a little on the serious side...even though I enjoy humour and love to laugh - when I'm writing, somehow serious is easier. Likely due to the fact I avoid being vulnerable. So, here goes...

Some of you may know, I work out from time-to-time. I kinda ;) took a year off while Quinn and I were dating and our engagement. I started again a month before Christmas, took a month off over Christmas and now back at 'er. I enjoyed the workout from the start, sometimes it almost seems easy while I'm doing it, the next day my body tells a different story as it creaks rolling out of bed.

Even tho I've worked with this video for a while now, one set of reps nearly kills me...
This workout video is approx 33 mins long, at about the 27th minute, the instructor tells you, we're going down for a little ab workout.

Ok, I pull out my mat and follow instruction: Lie on your back, bring your legs up, cross your ankles over one another. Now, bring your arms up, with your fingers folded in your palm (not clenched), keep your wrists close to each other, with your hands just in front of your forehead, elbows pointing to your knees. Now, bring your head up, shoulders off the floor, your arms and forehead in the direction of your legs (which are in the air). Now, proceed to do 4 slowish reps bringing your upper body (arms incl), to your knees. On the 4th rep, hold!! your upper body to your knees (keep your abs tight, breathe!)...after about 5 secs, rep fast 8 times to your knees, go back down for not even a second, back up, slow rep 4 times, hold on the 4th, quickly 8 reps to your knees. (after the first full rep my abs shriek in horror at the maliciousness of what I just put them through). I believe she goes through this whole rep 4 times, altho I've never made it through that sequence of brutality.

Sigh, my abs are clenched just thinking about it. Remember, this is done close to the end of my workout, just before the cool down. And you hear her holler out in excitement, "Are you feeling this? Hang in there." Nope, not feeling a thing??!!?? Quinn! please call the ambulance! Quinn glances over from the computer desk and goes back to his work, knowing it's something I want to do and an intervention will not bode well for him.

I encourage you to give this a try, let me know how it goes, maybe after you've worked out for 1/2 hour already.

Disclaimer: Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any new exercise, exercise technique or beginning any new diet -- particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, elderly, or if you have any chronic or recurring conditons. Any application of the techniques, ideas, and suggestions in this document is at the reader's sole discretion and risk.

p.s. in case you were hoping to find more seriousness on this blog...I read this earlier today on Creationism, nothing to blog about, its all laid out already... just read if you are so inclined.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Kenyan Taxi Drivers take - on politics

I read an article today from Daily Nation's part of it. Although some nations elections are corrupt, it made me wonder...if an African nation does have the liberty of voting in their political party - are they often voting for only loyalty or ethnic reasons? Although we, not being a Third world country, have voted on the basis of trust just the same and some on party loyalty - we also have corruption occuring, maybe not to the severity of some third world politicians.

Question: Do leaders in third world countries understand their own poverty any more than first world country politicians? hmmm...

By Lucy Oriang'Posted Thursday, January 22 2009 at 18:30

In a week when I have some trouble getting around the city of Nairobi, I discover two things. Taxi drivers talk a lot. No subject is taboo. No leader escapes their scathing comments, be it the president and the old guard that surrounds him, or the political wannabes.

It could be just their way of keeping their customers engaged. It could also be that they have a finger on the pulse of the nation. Either way, they keep their customers entertained with their running commentary on the news of the day– proving what I have always suspected: we are a nation of closet politicians.

State House and Parliament had better watch out. In some countries, the general population is obsessed with celebrities, the good life and the latest lifestyle trends. They do not eat, sleep and drink politics — and the misery it brings.

So there I was, heading off to the city centre with Nzikalu at the wheel. Before long, the conversation drifted to the Obama inauguration and the Kenyan connection.
Nzikalu is going on about the virtues of the new president of the United States. I decide to throw a spanner in the works.
“Would you have elected him had he been contesting in Kenya?”
Nzikalu pauses for a moment, and then admits that this would be unlikely. The ethnic issue would arise. And Kenyans do not vote on the strength of manifestoes and commitments to the people. And then, he adds bitterly, they have the audacity to complain when the people they elect do not deliver on the promise.

“The only person I see who comes close to Obama here is lawyer Patrick Lumumba,” he says. “When that man speaks, he does so from the heart, and you can see that he really believes in what he is saying.”

But he stood for election in Kamukunji last time, I point out, and did not come anywhere close to getting the seat. If he is so brilliant and honest, how come he performed so dismally?Constituencies in Nairobi tend to have an ethnic flavour, he fires back, and Kamukunji was always going to go to either a Kikuyu or a Somali.

But that’s Kenya for you. There was a brief window period in the 1960s when the spirit of nationalism ruled the land. If Nzikalu had his way, the present crop of politicians would all go home today, including the three main presidential candidates in the last poll who now share power.

It is a tale of one betrayal after another, he says. You have the politicians on one side, and the people on the other — and their interests do not seem to coincide.

One side seems hell-bent on surviving intrigues and manipulations on the corridors of power. The other just wants to put one foot in front of the other as one crisis rolls into another.
“But what do we expect,” he asks, “of a government that emerged out of bloodshed? It’s a curse. That’s why we seem to come from one problem to another.”

The men in power, he reckons, will never understand what the poor go through just to make a living. If they ever knew poverty, it must be in such a distant past that they have forgotten it.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I remember several years ago, driving in my car, I think it was the Avenger :) …anyway... That must have been the year I was in-between jobs in January, because around 10, 11 am I was driving in downtown Winnipeg on a Monday, I remember I was on Carlton listening intently to my radio. Our local Christian radio station was somewhat honoring the day and played MLK’s famous speech. The speech is so vivid in my mind, it feels as though he just made it a few years ago.

I am at work today, but it’s a pretty quiet day (market-wise, I'm still busy), all the US markets are closed and I was nostalgic of when I heard his complete speech a few years ago, somehow that moment was embedded in my mind. Well, here’s an excerpt from his speech made in August of 1963…

“I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together." (quoted from Isaiah 40: 4-5)

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.”

Martin Luther King

Sunday, January 18, 2009

List of 86

  1. I like ironing
  2. I like my kitchen
  3. I like baking more than cooking
  4. cooking creatively in the context of a full-time job takes a lot of effort
  5. considering our house only operates with a fridge freezer for now
  6. that should mean we cook more with fresh food, which is good too
  7. I like icy squares
  8. I made puffed wheat cake for the first time since Quinn and I have been together, he really liked it
  9. he also really likes fudge brownies
  10. I guess we both have a sweet tooth
  11. it’s dangerous to my health
  12. we enjoy hosting
  13. I like planning ‘the big meal’ and it can take a lot of time
  14. My Mom says “don’t worry about the food”, just as long as people are together
  15. The end result is fun
  16. people are leaving Manitoba
  17. our friends are going to Sudan for 4 months
  18. They will live in a hut, in a village, with hopefully not too many rats
  19. they will be immersed in missionary life
  20. I might work out soon
  21. I have a good work out video
  22. if I stay with it for more than a month at a time, I know I would see great results
  23. I need to firm up
  24. Summer is coming
  25. We need camping gear
  26. we don’t have much storage space
  27. we could set up a tent full time in our living room
  28. how entertaining would that be??
  29. we could play games in it when our friends come over
  30. we bought some new games
  31. Ticket to Ride (Germany) and Jungle Speed
  32. Quinn’s Mom put a dent in their wall when we played Jungle Speed
  33. We laughed a lot
  34. We also got the game Canasta and Racko at Christmas time
  35. Racko is not a game of strategy, mostly chance…once Quinn discovered this, he started winning and I came in 2nd a lot
  36. I should go make my daily tea latte, 1 part water, 2 parts milk…and a little bit of sugar
  37. It’s a good idea to set up a TFSA account -you can save money, earn interest, take it out if you want to - or transfer it into your regular RRSP account if you wish - once its in your RRSP, you don’t want to take it out, it’s a lot of taxes
  38. we need it to warm up a bit here so we can go skating on the river, maybe this weekend
  39. we went skating at my sister’s small town rink last Sat, it was fun
  40. except when Quinn lost his wedding ring, it fell off as he took his gloves off
  41. there was fresh snow on the rink, my family helped us look for it, Quinn went to check if he had maybe lost it in the shack
  42. I prayed we would find it, Quinn came out and started looking, found it right away, YAY!
  43. Loretta & Paul left this week for California
  44. Going to do construction work with Mennonite Disaster Service for a week
  45. They have 2 horses, they said we could come over and ride sometime
  46. each family has their own ‘culture’ we talked about last night with friends
  47. creating your own culture as husband and wife
  48. Recognizing a culture is important here as well as in a foreign country
  49. Quinn and I meet for lunch during the week whenever possible…so most days
  50. Who knows how long either of us will work this close to each other, we don’t take it for granted
  51. I had a song by Skillet in my head, I don’t know the name of it
  52. I started making pasta salad with veg, real ham and cheese for lunch
  53. now I have the song Mighty to Save in my head
  54. Quinn’s parents gave us some clementines they had bought at Costco, they are so tasty
  55. Our Christmas tree is still up…I like Christmas trees, plus it was Ukrainian Christmas last week, so we’re still within ‘one week’ of Christmas day
  56. Our office might be moving…from the 5th floor to the 15th floor of our building – we are being forced out of our suite by our neighbors, the CRA…they want our land…something the government is familiar with doing ;)
  57. we don’t mind, that means we get entirely new redesigned office space…if the company can afford it
  58. I still need to get our honeymoon pics developed and put them in an album
  59. I really liked Vancouver Island, what a beautiful place
  60. and Quinn and I both like seafood, oh it was delicious, if you want to know where to eat good seafood on the island (or where the bad restaurants are), just let us know. OH! Salmon!
  61. I am almost done changing my name everywhere, I have my Mastercard left, which we want to make ‘our’ Mastercard
  62. our fish’ name is Jackson II
  63. I like antipasto on crackers with vegetable cream cheese
  64. I also like pickled Dill Asparagus spears, even better wrapped in soft tortilla with herb cream cheese
  65. Ecclesiastes 8:15 is a good verse
  66. my father-in-law has a vast home library of Christian literature, I think it would be good for me to tap into it, if he lets me
  67. I am a little older than my husband
  68. My husband, his father and his grandfather all married women higher in age than them.
  69. When I was 26, my Grandma was not yet 70
  70. I have never broken any bones in my body or had any type of surgery
  71. I have 20/20 vision
  72. In a span of 8 years, I purchased 3 vehicles
  73. I’m supposed to be on a 4 day work week as part of a cost-saving initiative by our company, however there is too much work to reduce my work week at this time, maybe in February
  74. We don’t own a coffee maker, only a Bodum (French press)…much to my father’s dismay
  75. The other day I had a SEMG and Thermography scans on my spine, I had a lot of subluxation according to the chiropractor, I think she said my neck vertebrae were the worst she’d seen. Subluxation (misalignment): A problem in the spine where abnormal position of the vertebrae disturbs communication of the Nervous System causing disturbance in the body.
  76. Much like an MRI without radiation…the chiropractor now has a technical way to verify what she felt in my spine.
  77. We still have Christmas chocolate, I think I eat one a day, 2 on the odd day
  78. my phone number includes my name
  79. this list has been a 5 day task, therefore the numbers in 83 and 84 are skewed
  80. I would rather be writing a blog
  81. I really want to post pictures too, it’s a fair amount of work, b/c I compress them before I post them
  82. We were rear-ended last week, but we’re ok and the vehicle seems to be without a scratch too, although we will have it inspected.
  83. I have been married for 110.5 days
  84. For Quinn and I to celebrate our 60th in 2068, you would need to times 110 days by 200 = 22000 days, divide it by 365 = 60 years…minus a few days
  85. The only Math class I did well in was Consumer
  86. this is a list of 86 things about me, my family, friends and surroundings. You may have been amused, annoyed or ambivalent…now Go, do something ;)